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Hardware

Librem 14 Is the Most Secure Laptop You Can Buy, but It Comes at a High Price

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GNU
Linux
Hardware

If you're looking for a Linux laptop with a focus on privacy and security, you could roll your own. Several GNU/Linux operating systems are available that are more angled towards privacy and keeping you secure online, rather than general computing. One example is PureOS, the operating system from Purism that you will find pre-installed on the Librem 14.

A top-end ultraportable notebook with specs comparable with a MacBook Pro, the Librem 14 is arguably the most security and privacy-conscious laptop around.

But Purism's laptop costs a pretty penny – is it worth the price?

Read more

Devices: Raspberry Pi Projects, RISC-V, and More

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Hardware
  • Awesome Raspberry Pi automatic guitar tuner project

    Musicians and Raspberry Pi enthusiasts may be interested in a new project published to the official Raspberry Pi blog this week documenting a new project using the small Raspberry Pi Pico mini PC that can automatically tune your guitar. The Pico powered guitar tuning box has been created by Redditor u/thataintthis otherwise known as Guyrandy Jean-Gilles and makes it easy for you to perfectly tune your guitar. The project is perfect for beginners or those looking for a little help to remove the boredom of tuning your axe before a session.

  • First RISC-V computer chip lands at the European Processor Initiative

    The European Processor Initiative (EPI) has run the successful first test of its RISC-V-based European Processor Accelerator (EPAC), touting it as the initial step towards homegrown supercomputing hardware.

    EPI, launched back in 2018, aims to increase the independence of Europe's supercomputing industry from foreign technology companies. At its heart is the adoption of the free and open-source RISC-V instruction set architecture for the development and production of high-performance chips within Europe's borders.

    The project's latest milestone is the delivery of 143 samples of EPAC chips, accelerators designed for high-performance computing applications and built around the free and open-source RISC-V instruction set architecture. Designed to prove the processor's design, the 22nm test chips – fabbed at GlobalFoundries, the not-terribly-European semiconductor manufacturer spun out of AMD back in 2009 – have passed initial testing, running a bare-metal "hello, world" program as proof of life.

  • FPGA Retrocomputer: Return To Moncky

    This project, called the Moncky project, is a step above the usual 8-bit computer builds as it is actually a 16-bit computer. It is built around an Arty Spartan-7 FPGA dev board running around 20 MHz and has access to 2 x 128 kB dual-port RAM for memory. To access the outside world there is a VGA output, PS/2 capability, SPI, and uses an SD card as a hard drive. This project really shines in the software, though, as the project creator [Kris Demuynck] builds everything from scratch in order to illustrate how everything works for educational purposes, and is currently working on implementing a C compiler to make programming the computer easier.

  • Elderly Remote Keeps Things Simple | Hackaday

    If you are lucky, you’ve never experienced the heartbreak of watching a loved one lose their ability to do simple tasks. However, as hackers, we have the ability to customize solutions to make everyday tasks more accessible. That’s what [omerrv] did by creating a very specific function remote control. The idea is to provide an easy-to-use interface for the most common remote functions.

Open Hardware and Hardware Hacking

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Hardware
  • COVID Green Pass Validator With Raspberry Pi | Hackaday

    It seems like every nation is dealing with the plague a little differently. In June, the EU instated a COVID Green Pass which comes in the form of a paper or digital QR code. It was designed to grease the wheels of travel throughout Europe and allow access to nursing homes. As of early August, the Green Pass is now required of those 12 and older in Italy to gain access to bars and restaurants, museums, theaters, etc. — anywhere people gather in sizeable groups. The Green Pass shows that you’ve either been vaccinated, have had COVID and recovered, or you have tested negative, and there are different half-lives for each condition: nine months for vaccinated, six for recovered, and just forty-eight hours for a negative test.

  • Raspberry Pi smart audio devkit features AISonic IA8201 DSP, microphone array - CNX Software

    Knowles AISonic IA8201 Raspberry Pi development kit is designed to bring voice, audio edge processing, and machine learning (ML) listening capabilities to various systems, and can be used to evaluate the company’s AISonic IA8201 DSP that was introduced about two years ago.

    The kit is comprised of three boards with an adapter board with three buttons connecting to the Raspberry Pi, as well as the AISonic IA8210 DSP board itself connected via a flat cable to a microphone array.

  • Thanks, Sir Clive Sinclair, from Reg readers whose careers you created and lives you shaped

    ...even Linus Torvalds share what the electronics pioneer meant to them

    [...]

    Linus Torvalds was a Sinclair user: Among those influenced by Sir Clive was Linus Torvalds, creator of the Linux kernel, who worked on a Sinclair QL before he turned to his most famous work. From 00:30 in the video below, he reminisces about his time using the QL.

  • The Simplest FT8 Transceiver You’ll Ever Build | Hackaday

    Probably the most interesting facets of amateur radio in 2021 lie in the realm of digital modes. Using the limitless possibilities of software defined radios has freed digital radio communication from the limits of what could be done with analogue electronics alone, and as a result this is a rare field in which radio amateurs can still be ahead of the technological curve. On of these newer digital modes is FT8 created by the prolific [Joe Taylor K1JT].

Hardware and Modding Projects

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Hardware
  • SONOFF Smart Stackable Power Meter supports up to 128 20A relays - CNX Software

    ITEAD has introduced many smart switches over the year under the SONOFF brand, and their latest SONOFF Smart Stackable Power Meter is DIN mountable and made for larger industrial applications with up to 128 devices.

    The solution is comprised of the “SPM-Main” WiFi connected main unit controlling up to 32 “SPM-4Relay” units with 4 relays each using RS485 daisy-chaining.

  • A Toy Jeep For After The Apocalypse | Hackaday

    These toys usually have one or two 12V high-speed motors driving plastic gear trains for the rear wheels. This one is a two-motor model and unexpectedly comes with a steering motor for parental remote control. All its electronics were dead, so rather than do a complete motor upgrade he instead doubled the voltage and installed decent motor controllers with an Arduino sending them instructions. Otherwise it received an upgrade and stiffening of its chassis and steering components, and the kids plastic steering wheel was replaced with a wooden one.

  • Embrace The New, But Don’t Forget The Old | Hackaday

    We were trading stories of our first self-made PCBs in the secret underground Hackaday bunker, and a couple of the boards looked really good for first efforts. Of course there were mistakes and sub-optimal routing, but who among us never connects up the wrong signals or uses a bad footprint? What lead me to have a hacker “kids these days have it so easy” moment was that all of the boards were, of course, professionally fabbed with nice silkscreens. They all looked great.

    What a glorious time to be starting down the hardware path! When I made my first PCB, the options were basically laying down tape, pulling out the etch resist pen, or paying a bazillion inflation-adjusted dollars for a rapid prototype board. This meant that the aspiring hacker also had to have a steady hand and be at least casually acquainted with a little chemistry. The ability to just send your files out to a PCB house means that the barrier to stepping up your hardware game from plug-them-together modules is lower than it’s ever been.

  • AugLimb is the extra arm you didn't know you needed | Arduino Blog

    As a maker, you probably have a third hand for your soldering station. They come in handy when you need to hold a component, PCB, solder, and soldering iron all at the same time. But an extra hand would be useful for a wide range of other everyday activities. That’s why this team of researchers created a compact robotic third arm called AugLimb.

    While robotic augmentations aren’t a new idea, they aren’t often as usable as AugLimb. This robotic arm is lightweight and compact, making it comfortable to wear. It can’t lift much weight, but it is very dexterous thanks to seven degrees of freedom and an extendable gripper. It attaches to the wearer’s bicep and folds up when not in use. When it is time for action, AugLimb unfolds and reaches further than the user’s own arm.

  • Classic Chip Line-Up Powers This Fun Dub Siren Synth | Hackaday

    There’s a certain elite set of chips that fall into the “cold, dead hands” category, and they tend to be parts that have proven their worth over decades, not years. Chief among these is the ubiquitous 555 timer chip, which nearly 50 years after its release still finds its way into the strangest places. Add in other silicon stalwarts like the 741 op-amp and the LM386 audio amp, and you’ve got a Hall of Fame lineup for almost any project.

Open Hardware/Modding Leftovers

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Hardware
  • RetroPie Cyberdeck | HackSpace #47
  • Modern Tube Tester Uses Arduino | Hackaday

    There was a time when people like us might own a tube tester and even if you didn’t, you probably knew which drug store had a tube testing machine you could use for free. We aren’t sure that’s a testament to capitalistic ingenuity or an inditement of tube reliability — maybe both. As [Usagi] has been working on some tube-based projects, he decided he needed a tester so he built one. You can see the results in the video, below.

    The tester only uses 24V, but for the projects he’s building, that’s close to the operation in the real circuits. He does have a traditional tube tester, but it uses 100s of volts which is a different operating regime.

  • The Big Book of Computing Pedagogy

    In this issue, you’ll find:

    Techniques for fostering program comprehension

    Advice for bringing physical computing into your classroom

    Introductions to frameworks for structuring your lessons

Jetson Xavier NX and Nano carriers include a model with 5x SATA ports

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GNU
Linux
Hardware

Seeed has launched a pair of Leetop carrier boards for the Jetson Xavier NX and Nano: a $349 “A205” with 5x SATA, 5x USB, 2x GbE, and 6x CSI lanes, and a compact, $179 “A203” board with 40-pin GPIO.

Seeed is selling a pair of carrier boards from China-based Leetop that both support the Nvidia Jetson Nano and Jetson Xavier NX. The full-featured, $349 A205 board ships on Oct. 16, and the $179, ready-to-deploy A203 is available Sep. 30.

Read more

Open Hardware With Focus on Arduino

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Development
Hardware
  • Arduino Nicla Sense ME makes sense of the world | Arduino Blog

    Nicla is Arduino Pro’s new family of modular, intelligent products that are easy to use, versatile and accessible – whether you are an advanced user working on industrial applications or a budding maker looking to prototype your first intelligent solution. No wonder it’s named after the Greek word for “victory of the people!”

    To herald the range, we have just released the Nicla Sense ME: a tiny but mighty board, co-developed with Bosch Sensortec to enable sensing and intelligence on the edge. With low-power sensors, a high-performance processor and small footprint, it offers a winning combination that can answer our community’s and clients’ needs and open up to opportunities for infinite new solutions.

  • Captivating Clock Puts Endangered Displays On Display | Hackaday

    When you have a small stock of vacuum fluorescent displays (VFDs) straight out of the 1976 Radio Shack catalog, you might sit around wondering what to do with them. When [stepawayfromthegirls] found out that his stash of seven DT-1704A tubes may be the last in existence, there was no question. They must be displayed! [stepawayfromthegirls]’ mode of display is this captivating clock build. Four VFDs with their aqua colored elements are set against a black background in a bespoke wooden case. Looking under the hood, the beauty only increases.

  • The first Arduino Education Inspiration Lab

    Arduino Education is delighted to announce its very first Inspiration Lab, in partnership with Technobel in Belgium.

  • Open Source Autopilot For Cheap Trolling Motors

    Quiet electric trolling motors are great for gliding into your favorite fishing spot but require constant correction if wind and water currents are at play. As an alternative to expensive commercial GPS-guided trolling motors, [AlexAsplund] created Vanchor, an open source system for adding autopilot to a cheap trolling motor.

Meet the Marvelous Macro Music Maker

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Hardware

Do you kind of want a macropad, but aren’t sure that you would use it? Hackaday alum [Jeremy Cook] is now making and selling the JC Pro Macro on Tindie, which is exactly what it sounds like — a Pro Micro-based macro keypad with an OLED screen and a rotary encoder. In the video below, [Jeremy] shows how he made it into a music maker by adding a speaker and a small solenoid that does percussion, all while retaining the original macro pad functionality.

[Jeremy]’s original idea for a drum was to have a servo seesawing a chopstick back and forth on the table as one might nervously twiddle a pencil. That didn’t work out so well, so he switched to the solenoid and printed a thing to hold it upright, and we absolutely love it. The drum is controlled with the rotary encoder: push to turn the beat on or off and crank it to change the BPM.

To make it easier to connect up the solenoid and speaker, [Jeremy] had a little I²C helper board fabricated. There’s one SVG connection and another with power and ground swapped in the event it is needed. If you’re interested in the JC Pro Macro, you can pick it up in various forms over on Tindie. Of course, you might want to wait for version 2, which is coming to Kickstarter in October.

Read more

NVIDIA Jetson Nano/Xavier NX carrier board offers 5 SATA, 6 CSI camera, dual GbE, and more

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Hardware

Leetop has introduced two carrier boards for NVIDIA Jetson Nano or Xavier NX modules, with Leetop A205 a full-featured carrier board offering five SATA ports, six MIPI CSI camera interfaces, an M.2 Key E slot, dual Gigabit Ethernet, four USB 3.0 ports, dual HDMI output and more, as well as the more compact Leetop A203 about the size of the modules themselves and offering Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI output, USB 3.0/2.0 ports, a camera interface, and an M.2 slot for optional WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity.

We’ll focus on the former in this article, as it offers more features, and the smaller board provides less functionality than the NVIDIA Jetson Nano developer kit at a much higher price, although I understand it can still be useful for space-constrained applications.

Read more

Also: Maxtang MTN-TL50 is a compact desktop with Intel Tiger Lake

Steam Deck: Shaping Up

Filed under
Hardware
Gaming
Gadgets
  • Steam Deck: Valve Confirms Multi-Boot Support and More in New FAQ

    While Valve has not been particularly tight-lipped about the upcoming Steam Deck hardware, there have still been plenty of questions left unanswered about it. Thankfully, there should now be fewer of those than before as the company has shared an official Steam Deck FAQ full of answers to questions from the community received via Reddit, Discord, Twitter, and -- as Valve states -- "straight up emails to Gabe."

  • Easy Anti-Cheat is now supported on macOS, Linux, and by extension, Steam Deck

    In a surprise announcement, Epic Games today revealed Linux and macOS support for Easy Anti-Cheat, the widely used cheat detection service for PC games. This service, which Epic made free earlier this year, is what's being used for catching cheaters in a substantial number of popular PC titles, including Apex Legends, Fortnite, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Hunt: Showdown, Gears 5, and others.

    There is even more good news for Linux gamers, as alongside native support for their preferred operating system, Epic has also implemented support for the Wine and Proton compatibility layers. "Starting with the latest SDK release, developers can activate anti-cheat support for Linux via Wine or Proton with just a few clicks in the Epic Online Services Developer Portal," adds the announcement.

  • Steam Deck Interface for Dev Kits Leak Out

    While there’s a lot of info known about Valve’s upcoming Steam Deck, prepare for more, as the Steam Deck interface for dev kits have leaked! This comes from an unnamed Chinese developer who apparently doesn’t care about NDA’s (non-disclosure agreements).

  • One of the Steam Deck’s biggest hurdles just disappeared: EAC has come to Linux

    Valve promised it would work with anti-cheat software makers EAC and BattlEye to ensure some of the most popular games will run on its upcoming Steam Deck Linux-based gaming handheld, and one of those companies is now officially on board — Epic Games announced today that its Easy Anti-Cheat (EAC) now supports Linux and Mac. Not only that, it’s specifically set up to work with the Proton and Wine compatibility layers that Valve’s relying on to bring Windows games to the Deck.

    While developers would still need to patch their games, this immediately means some of the most popular games on Steam are now theoretically within reach, including Apex Legends, Dead by Daylight and War Thunder, which are all among the top 25 games on Steam. Other popular EAC games include 7 Days to Die, Fall Guys, Black Desert, Hunt: Showdown, Paladins, and the Halo Master Chief Collection.

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More in Tux Machines

today's howtos

  • How to use wall command in linux - Unixcop

    wall is (an abbreviation of write to all) is a Unix command-line utility that displays the contents of a computer file or standard input to all logged-in users. It is used by root to send out shutting down message to all users just before poweroff. It displays a message on the terminals of all logged-in users. The messages can_be either typed on the terminal or the contents of a file. Also usually, system administrators send messages to announce maintenance and ask users to log out and close all open programs.The messages ‘re shown to all logged in users with a terminal open.

  • Any Port in a Storm: Ports and Security, Part 1

    When IT and Security professionals talk about port numbers, we’re referring to the TCP and UDP port numbers a service is running on that are waiting to accept connections. But what exactly is a port?

  • Book Review: Data Science at the Command Line By Jeroen Janssens

    Data Science at the Command Line: Obtain, Scrub, Explore, and Model Data with Unix Power Tools written by Jeroen Janssens is the second edition of the series “Data Science at the Command Line”. This book demonstrates how the flexibility of the command line can help you become a more efficient and productive data scientist. You will learn how to combine small yet powerful command-line tools to quickly obtain, scrub, explore, and model your data. To get you started, author Jeroen Janssens provides a Docker image packed with over 80 tools–useful whether you work with Windows, macOS, or Linux.

  • How to Take a Typing Test on Linux With tt

    In the modern era of technology, typing has become one of the most common activities for a lot of professions. Learning to type faster with accuracy can help you get more things done in the same amount of time. However, touch typing is not a skill that you can master overnight. It takes regular practice and testing to improve your speed and accuracy gradually. While there are a lot of websites that help you achieve this, all you essentially need on Linux is a terminal. Let's see how.

  • FIX: Google Chrome doesn’t work on Kali linux
  • How to install OpenToonz on a Chromebook

    Today we are looking at how to install OpenToonz on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below. If you have any questions, please contact us via a YouTube comment and we would be happy to assist you!

Security and DRM Leftovers

Linux 5.15-rc3

So after a somewhat rocky merge window and second rc, things are now
actually looking pretty normal for rc3. Knock wood.

There are fixes all over, and the statistics look fairly regular, with
drivers dominating as they should (since they are most of the tree).
And outside of drivers, we have a fairly usual mix of changes -
architecture fixes, networking, filesystems, and tooling (the latter
being mostly kvm selftests).

Shortlog appended, it's not too long and easy to scan through to get a
flavor for the details if you happen to care.

Please do give it a whirl,

             Linus

Read more Also: Linux 5.15-rc3 Released - Looking "Pretty Normal" Plus Performance Fix - Phoronix

Huawei launches OS openEuler, aims to construct 'ecological base of national digital infrastructure'

Chinese tech giant Huawei launched openEuler operating system (OS) on Saturday, another self-developed OS after the HarmonyOS, as it tries to "solve the domestic stranglehold problem of lacking its homegrown OS in basic technology," and build a full-scenario covered ecosystem to prepare for more US bans. The openEuler OS can be widely deployed in various forms of equipment such as servers, cloud computing and edge computing. Its application scenarios cover Information Technology, Communication Technology and Operational Technology to achieve unifying an operating system with multi-device support, according to the company's introduction. In the ICT field, Huawei provides products and solutions such as servers, storage, cloud services, edge computing, base stations, routers, industrial control among others, all of which need to be equipped with an OS. Huawei has therefore been building capabilities to achieve a unified OS architecture, and meet the demands of different application scenarios, the firm said on Saturday. The openEuler program was initially announced back in 2019 as an open source operating system. Today's launch is an updated one. Read more